AURORA The Cougars get to bring something significant back with them.
Cascade High School’s football team defeated North Marion 12-3 on the road Friday night to earn a share of the Oregon West Conference championship.
“For us, all the pressure was on the other team,” said Cascade senior Brandon Martin, who scored an 80-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff.
“It was their senior night. It was their homecoming night. We go away to away games, we do what we do and hey, we do well at away games.”
Cascade, North Marion and Stayton all finish 3-1 in the Oregon West and split the league championship three ways.
North Marion had clinched a share of its first league championship since 1982 before the game, but Cascade – the 2015 OSAA Class 4A state champion – earned a share of its second in three years.
After Martin’s touchdown spotted the Cougars a 6-0 lead to start the game, North Marion cut the lead to 6-3 on a 22-yard field goal by Tanner Scanlan.
But before the first quarter was over Cascade’s Quinn Legner ran in a quarterback sneak for a touchdown from five yards out to give the Cougars a 12-3 lead they would never relinquish.
A downpour that lasted the duration of the first half created a mud pit of North Marion’s field.
“It was pretty tough,” Legner said. “I’m grateful for my line. They made it a lot easier not having pressure. We worked on it all week. Tough conditions, so we were prepared.”
North Marion threatened Cascade in the closing minutes, but Michael Biddington’s interception of Hunter Martin with 3:15 left sealed the win.
Based on the Oregon West’s tiebreaker, Cascade gets the No. 1 seed for the OSAA Class 4A state playoffs and has a bye through to the Nov. 4 first round and hosts in the first round.
Stayton, the No. 2 seed, and North Marion, the No. 3 seed, will play in the Oct. 28 play-in round.
bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com, 503-399-6701 or Twitter.com/bpoehler
Cascade 12, North Marion 3
CAS 12 0 0 0-12
NM 3 0 0 0-3
CAS- Brandon Martin 80 kickoff return (pass fail) 11:45.
NM- Tanner Scanlan 22 field goal 6:34.
CAS- Quinn Legner 5 run (pass fail) 1:46.